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Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About My Vagina, Paradise in Augustines (The Sanctuary) – Review

Vaginas finally seem to have found their voice at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Quite literally so. Together with Zuma Puma's feminist vagina, there is Ella Langley's Vag (Lottie Amor) expressing her discontent in front of an audience. A vinyl-spinning, pink tutu-wearing, well-articulated speaker that resents being ignored by her "owner" Bea (Christelle Elwin). It all starts during a pilgrimage, when Bea tries to insert a tampon and Vag decides to give her the finger. Amusing as it seems, this is the beginning of years of pain and humiliation, during which Bea's relationship with Vag is at stake. It’s…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

A poorly understood psycho-somatic condition called vaginismus is bravely faced by a young woman and her talking vagina. Educational comedy gold.

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Vaginas finally seem to have found their voice at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Quite literally so. Together with Zuma Puma’s feminist vagina, there is Ella Langley’s Vag (Lottie Amor) expressing her discontent in front of an audience. A vinyl-spinning, pink tutu-wearing, well-articulated speaker that resents being ignored by her “owner” Bea (Christelle Elwin).

It all starts during a pilgrimage, when Bea tries to insert a tampon and Vag decides to give her the finger. Amusing as it seems, this is the beginning of years of pain and humiliation, during which Bea’s relationship with Vag is at stake. It’s due to a poorly understood condition called vaginismus, which causes the genital muscles to contract involuntarily, making penetration so painful as to become unachievable. Treated like a phobia, this disorder is of a psychological nature, hence can be addressed with various non-pharmaceutical methods.

Because of it affecting mainly her mental wellbeing without actual medical consequences, Bea refrains from talking about it even with her closest friends, whilst also avoiding any sort of sexual interaction that could lead to penetration. Unspoken and untreated for years, vaginismus ruins her time at university, when everyone else seems to be having a very active sexual life. Eventually, realising the importance of seeking treatment, she starts learning how to listen to Vag.

Surely winning the record for this year’s longest show title at the Fringe, Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About My Vagina is educational, frank and rich with exhilarating gags. Most importantly, it has a timely agenda presented with an approachable format. It teaches us to love ourselves and shows us the importance of keeping a good relationship with every part of our body. Amor and Elwin perform it with confidence, driven by their tangible chemistry. The solid script is allowed to shine even brighter thanks to director Georgia Figgis, bringing it to life with verve, adding a physical element to an already accomplished autobiographical work.

Author: Ella Langley
Director: Georgia Figgis
Producer: Chucked Up Theatre
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.